I find the idea of push presents very confusing. I first learned about them several years ago while channel surfing and stopping on TLC’s “A Baby Story.” As some woman worked to deliver her second child and her husband passed out, she said something to the effect of, “I’d better get a good push present–sparkly, like diamond earrings, big ones.”
It sounded like she was having a child to get some bling, not to, you know, have a child. Since then, I have heard the term “push present” tossed around occasionally, and it makes no more sense to me now than it did then. In fact, since I became a mom two years ago, it makes even less sense.
The gift of having Ellie was in preparing for her arrival–outfitting a room, getting clothes for her, and buying all the essentials (bottles, nipples, a bath tub, teethers, etc.)–and enjoying her debut. That was my reward for 40 weeks of gestation, raging heartburn, 30 extra pounds on my frame, and an emergency C-section after which a nurse had to watch me pee to make sure all my plumbing was back in place. Even as she used a squirt bottle to spray me clean, I didn’t think, “Man, a baby is not enough. I need a couple carats sticking out of my earlobes or some rocks around my wrist.”
Turning to Google to help me understand the origins of the push present, I found a New York Times article from 2007 titled “A Bundle of Joy is Not Enough?”. It reveals that the notion of a push present has caught on in the United States only recently, notably after the jewelry chain Mayors ran a commercial in 2005 suggesting such a thing was a good idea. That makes sense. It seems akin to Hallmark-driven holidays.
And maybe what I am about to say sounds like it could be printed inside a greeting card, but I feel that the new life is what matters. I didn’t do anything heroic or beyond what other moms have done by carrying and delivering a child. Sure, it was miraculous, but in just the same way the arrival of any new child is.
This practical side of me is not one that often rears its diamond-less head. I have a ridiculous penchant for buying jeans that cost $150 or more. I can reason away purchasing a rug from Pottery Barn Kids instead of Target or Ikea. I’m a sucker for “Jill’s Steals and Deals” on the “Today Show,” especially when the bargain is baubles. I love my birthday and Hanukkah because I get gifts for having done nothing but aged (the former) and being Jewish (the latter). So you’d think that the push present would suit me just fine. Instead, the need for it eludes me.
Is it a symbolic gesture–something to look at and remember the day by? I think Ellie is a pretty clear reminder of that–along with the zillion photos we took of her. Is it just a nice token of appreciation from hubbies? I found my husband’s willingness to take on the midnight feeding to be worth its weight in gold.
What’s your take?